In order to pursue his passion for flying, Anaheim Helicopters founder Mark Skinner left his home in England and began the journey to his current West Coast home. Now, in stable, modern, and air-conditioned helicopters, Mark stirs the air above Los Angeles and Orange County to provide passengers with views of rugged mountains and iconic buildings. During tours, Mark points out landmarks such as the Sunset Strip, the Capitol Records Building, and Dodger Stadium before soaring between skyscrapers, over famous homes, and in V-formation with migrating geese. In addition to piloting helicopters, Mark joins with a team of FAA–certified flight instructors to lead aviation lessons for aspiring pilots.
Flavors of Laguna's tasting tours meander to well-known Laguna Beach restaurants as well as eateries kept quiet by locals, with tastings of a wide variety of cuisines along the way. Though stops can vary, past trips have seen tour-goers dig spoons into Dolce Gelato's creamy handcrafted treats, sample sizzling dishes at La Sirena Grill, or cozy up to the horseshoe island bar at Lumberyard. (Wine or beer tastings are available for an extra fee.) Between bites, guides point out major sights during casual strolls around Laguna's streets, ensuring that tours, like city maps made of chocolate, are informative as well as delicious.
Each year, Yorba Linda's most menacing demons prowl The Cemetery of Lost Souls for four horrible nights. Normally a peaceful martial-arts school known as the United Studios of Self Defense, the dojo suddenly transforms in the fall, its corridors echoing with the shrieks of ghosts just learning that The Karate Kid had multiple sequels. Courageous visitors can brave the bloody spectacle during the house's Scream Time hours or experience a less-startling version during a family-friendly hour. After enduring the thrills, survivors can shake off their goose bumps with attractions such as music, food, bounce houses, and laser tag.
Ziddle and Zaddle the zebras, a alpaca named Cletus, and Bengal tigers that eat from a zookeeper's hand all sound like characters from a charming children's book?but these animals are the real-life residents of the Rancho Las Lomas Wildlife Foundation. Home to animals from around the world and myriad plant species, the zoo serves as a educational resource for locals and educational establishments. Visitors can take behind-the-scenes tours or explore the grounds for themselves, chatting with macaws, watching the caracals play, and staring at white Bengal tigers until they can see the 3D picture in their stripes.
Exhilarating music pulses amid the remains of a downed cargo airliner, its wreckage scattered across 4,000 square feet of fog-filled tropical beach. Two teams navigate through these surroundings—dodging strewn pieces of cargo, abandoned huts, and a miniature volcano. Black lights cause Laser Island's neon hues to burst to life. The red-orange glow of the volcano's lava, the vibrant green of the painted palm fronds, and the cerulean blue of the walls' ocean horizon all shine alongside the green flashes of streaking lasers. After roughly 20 minutes, the guests emerge and discover which team scored the most points.
Beyond laser tag, the family-friendly entertainment center features a number of activities for virtually all ages. A nine-hole tiki-themed miniature-golf course challenges hand-eye coordination, and the CoCo Climb station allows adventurers to scale a 20-foot coconut tree while safely supported by a weight-bearing harness and an invisible force field. The arcade section tempts passersby to spend a few tokens on games such as Ms. Pac-Man or Time Crisis 3, and certain games reward players with tickets that they can redeem for prizes at the Ticket Hut. In between games or laser-tag matches, Laser Island refuels visitors with a snack-bar menu that includes everything from pizzas and toasted sandwiches to salads and buffalo wings.
When Rob Zombie set out to create the Great American Nightmare, he knew exactly where to go for ideas: his own movies. He and his spooky-smart team of technical wizards created three haunted houses, each inspired by one of the director's terrifying cinematic works. Haunt of 1,000 Corpses brings to life the horrors of exploitation film House of 1,000 Corpses, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Thrill-seekers wander through a recreation of the movie's "Museum of Monsters & Madmen" before hopping on the Murder Ride, which puts them nose to nose with notorious serial killers. Inspired by Zombie's 2012 indie film Lords of Salem, Lords of Salem In Total Blackout toys with claustrophobia, fear of the dark, and the heightening of one's senses while wandering a maze. Lastly, guests don Chromadepth glasses to explore the world of animated horror-comedy romp El Superbeasto, immersing themselves in a world of vivid images, bawdy humor, and surprises that lurk around every technicolor corner.
Between attractions, or while waiting for nerves to settle, guests can wander up and down the Bloody Boulevard and take in other spooky sights or catch a horror movie screening (featured films include The Last Man on Earth and Carnival of Souls, among others). Each evening, the Great American Nightmare hosts an adrenaline-boosting musical act, ranging from Andrew W.K. to Mr. Zombie himself, and celebrity guests swing by from time to time to sign posters, arms, or the handkerchief you used to muffle your terrified screams.